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Tales From the Laundry Mat

Updated on March 20, 2018

This is a little piece I am calling, Tales of the Laundry Mat. I am writing to share my observations of people’s lives from my local laundry mat. What you must understand is that this solely what I observer not necessarily the whole picture of someone’s life. This is just taste of what I have gathered in my first experiences using a public laundry mat.

So today I went to the laundry mat; my work shirts were all dirty and it being Sunday it was laundry day. Its summer time and I usually work Monday to Saturday in the summer so I like to do laundry on Sunday when I’m not tired from working all day. While at the laundry mat I observe a young father and his daughter. This father is dressed like the stereotypical young black male with baggy jeans and a belt that seems to do nothing to keep them up. His daughter is maybe age four or five tops and it’s just the two of them washing clothes. Now while some people may look at this guy and start thinking he is too young to be a father or judge his looks and assume he has a lifestyle unfit for a little girl just by his looks I am just observing. What I am seeing is a little girl who is laughing and having a good time doing laundry with her daddy who is doing what every good dad should; bonding with his daughter. It’s not often that I have seen this kind of daddy-daughter combo enjoying their time together. I was born and raised a country girl taught the importance of family togetherness so moments like these really make me smile!

Today at the Mat there is a mom and her 2 yr old I know that she’s two because the little girl held out two fingers and said I am two. She awfully tall for two but her mom said yes you are. There is also a young boy he is four he told me himself that he is four. Now I don’t dislike little kids normally we get along just fine because at the end of the day they go home with their parents and are no longer my headache so to speak. But it is the end of the day for me and I am doing my laundry and this place is not big enough for the three of us me and two screaming kids who don’t want to follow momma’s no running no screaming rules. It takes 30 minutes to wash, roughly 35 minutes to dry and I got here and they were already doing laundry so I hope they hit the dryers soon because I’m not sure how much my pre-laundry nap prepared me for these screamers and runners. As it turns the mom who has tried her best to control her daughter yet seems to be failing will get a break. While watching her clothes in the washer she sees a present from her husband what we guess to be a couple of tens and maybe a twenty dollar bill have come out of his pants. A reward for her hard work she says as long as they don’t tear in the wash she is pleasantly surprised as he probably has already forgotten they were in his pants. Me I can’t help wondering what do the rest of us get for dealing with your obnoxious child disturbing us while watching our clothes be washed in the laundry mat.

It’s Sunday again I’m at the laundry mat washing clothes and taking in my surroundings. Today there is a young girl with her mother she upset and crying tears running down her face you can see the pain in her in her eyes although she can’t be more than five or six years old. From what I gather from the situation the mother has just been informed that this little was not going to see her father no matter how much she cried for her daddy. I don’t know the whole story why she was not going to see him I just know by looking at this girl she was very upset and there was really no way her mother could console. Now I do not know these people and they do not know me, but I cannot imagine the position this mother is in or how her daughter feels. I have never been in their shoes and hope I never have to be. For someone like me who has never had to go without it’s hard to know what they must feel. I can only sit and watch hoping this girl gets to see her father again or at least learns how to deal with what is going on.

Today I learned something about the ladies of the laundry mat. The ones who work the long hours helping people with the machines, washing dropped off clothes and making change for large bills. They are more than meets the eye some speak Spanish and English and they are quick to pick up on what language a person should need so that they can communicate with them. Now I am by no means judging the workers I like them I only come here every so often as needed yet they are always friendly to me even though they have to deal with some tough patrons who are well not the of the parts of society. I have decided working at the laundry is probably not a job for just anyone and I’m sure that I am not the only one who knows this.


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